tv Meet the Press NBC February 29, 2016 3:00am-4:01am PST
to 26, 3-to-1 margin. she swept virtually every category especially african-americans whom she won by a margin of 6-to-1 and also won every single county in the state. >> despite what you hear, we don't need to make america great again. america has never stopped being great. but we do need to make america whole again. >> look who's pivoting to the general. super tuesday voters in 12 states go to polls and the single biggest day of the primary season for both parties. and our brand new polls in three key super tuesday states have even more good news for hillary clinton. big leads for clinton in georgia, tennessee and texas. look at that sitting around the 60% mark in all three. pretty good indication that clinton is set to have a super, super tuesday. but let's turn to the wild republican race. and we'll go state by state in that one. in georgia donald trump has a
seven-point lead over cruz and rubio, 30% trump, cruz and rubio tied. in tennessee trump's lead more durable at 40% followed by cruz in second and rubio a close third and then the rest of the field. but in texas it's a different story. ted cruz is hanging onto his must-win home state. and he has a comfortable 13-point lead over trump. rubio is a distant third there. now, these polls were taken before marco rubio's strong performance in that thursday night republican debate. so we asked our pollsters to recontact as many people as possible. we talked to 30% of the respondents in all three states to see whether rubio's debate performance changed anything, in short it did not. trump, rubio and cruz all held onto roughly 90% of their supporters. in fact in the raw ballot test rubio moved up all of one point. we have three presidential candidates with us this morning as we look forward to what could be a defining super tuesday. ted cruz, donald trump and bernie sanders.
i'm joined by donned donald trump. welcome back. >> let me just ask you, how'd you make the deal to get chris christie to endorse you? >> well, it was just somebody that i really wanted. i must tell you i was going to leave a little time go by before i called him. i did not call him. he called me. he saw what was happening. he said, donald, you have a movement going. like, chuck, this afternoon i think we have 25,000 people in alabama, we ended up moving to a football stadium because you couldn't hold. i mean, what we have going is incredible. yesterday in arkansas we had 15,000 people in a hangar in tennessee. it's amazing what's going on. and he said there's a movement going on and i'd like to be part of it. and i was very happy. i was getting ready to call him. and he called me. and having chris is a great honor. >> well, i tell you, he seems
like a changed man when it comes to you. there was a time he wasn't such a believer. let me play a few quotes. >> he's been very successful businessman, has lots of talents, absolutely no ability in this area. be very careful about candidates stand up to say and ban all muslims from coming to the country. ridiculous. it would be a beautiful, wonderful wall, it will be an incredible wall, the wall will be unbelievable. we're not picking an entertainer in chief, we're not casting a tv show. i don't think it would be in the best interest of our party to have someone who i don't think would be an effective president to be the nominee. >> mr. trump, as i can attest to, if anybody had said that, you would have unloaded on them on twitter. and sort of pulverized them. what made you accept christie's change of heart? >> well, you know, i heard those comments. they were made in a rather low key manner. and they were made in smaller locations. and they never got out very much. so i never really had to go wild. but i did hear a little about them. but that's called welcome to the
wonderful world of politics, i think. you know, he's been a friend of mine. he's been a really good guy and a good friend of mine for a long time. just having his endorsement is amazing. we did four stops between the last two days. and he's introduced me and the place loves him, the people love him. he's tough, he's smart. we just get along very well. so, you know, that's called politics in all fairness, chuck. i think you've heard about it before, right? >> fair enough. he certainly has been quite the opening act for you the last two days. look, there's been a couple other things came up at the debate. couple of our attack tv ads are there. i want to play a clip of one on immigration that's going
after you and get you to respond on the other side. >> a federal court ruled that trump's company hired illegal immigrants to help the construction process for trump tower. he even paid a $1 million fine. and his new hotel in washington. >> "the washington post" interviewed about 15 laborers at the d.c. hotel site reporting that many revealed they had entered the u.s. illegally. >> basically the charge is this,
mr. trump, you don't practice what you preach on immigration. >> yeah. well, it's wrong. first of all, the one charge is from 35 years ago. i think that's a pretty good record when people have to go 35 years back to find out about workers. now, as i remember it, those workers were hired by another company. i just hired a company and they had some workers that were perhaps from poland or some place. and this was the demolition of a building that made way for trump tower. so the workers, chuck, this is 35 years ago you're talking about. by the way the laws were totally different. the laws were not what they are now and totally different. as far as one of the great hotels in the
world that's currently being built on pennsylvania avenue between the capitol building and the white house, there were no illegals. we do checks like you wouldn't believe. and they didn't name any names, they didn't give any information. we are very, very careful, we have an excellent contractor is the best in the country, works with me, that's why that job by the way is two years ahead of
schedule and underbudget and going to be one of the great hotels of the world. i'm doing a good job. they know what they did when they got me. that's what happened. they don't have any proof of any illegals. they have no proof. they said they found a few -- >> do you use e-verify in everything you do when it comes to finding out the immigration status? >> yeah, i have e-verify. and i use e-verify in that building. and "the washington post" mentioned they spoke to people, there's no names -- i read the story. it was from a few months ago. there were no names whatsoever. they have no proof, no evidence, no nothing. they saw people and there were people coming out of the building and they were absolutely. we go with e-verify. i am extremely strong on it. every time i have a contractor meeting in that building, and we're doing fantastically well. we're going to open that building in september, which will be very exciting. just before the election. perfect. i mean, you know. >> the timing. >> but i will tell you this, i am very -- the timing is good. but i am very, very tough on
that. and they have absolutely no evidence whatsoever. it's a typical "the washington post" story. >> all right. you were obviously trump university came up. let me ask you this -- >> right. >> if trump university was such a successful business and the trump -- i know you had to change the name because it wasn't a university. >> only in new york. >> why isn't it still a robust business? >> well, because we would open it again -- what happened is -- first of all you have to understand. we had about 98% of the people took the courses, approved the courses, they had report cards and said they were great, those people now are suing because a law firm said if i could get your money back, what would you say, get my money back, that's great. but they signed these documents -- they rated the
course 98% approval rating and high marks. number two, we have an a from the better business bureau. and here's the only thing, chuck, i could settle the case, but i don't want to settle the case. the reason is i don't want to be held up. and once you settle cases, everybody sues you. i don't want to be held up. so i take the case. the one with the attorney general, that was taken from these people. they made a campaign contribution to the attorney general of new york. he met with president obama in syracuse, new york, and the following day or a day later he filed a case against me. and that case has been largely won, although they're appealing, but that case has been largely won by me. so it's very easy for me to settle these things, chuck. i just don't choose to do it. it's not a good deal. it's a civil case. it's not a big deal. just so you understand, we have a 98% approval rating and we have an a from the better business bureau. >> i guess the question is, did anybody succeed? did anybody make millions of dollars in real estate using your way? can you produce folks that have made millions using your way? >> people did succeed. and we have those people will be witnesses at the trial. and the man that's doing that i believe he signed a document saying he thought trump university was terrific in some form.
and that it was terrific. so we'll have to find out -- i haven't seen this commercial, but the man that did that commercial, i think if you tell me his name or we'll find it, but most of the people signed documents saying it was great. so it will be interesting. he made the statement. let's see what he said about the school. because i think he signed a document saying that the school is very good. but we'll find out. >> you said something else about the judge yesterday. you said one of the judges, you said, quote, i believe he happens to be spanish, which is fine. he's hispanic. which is fine. we haven't asked for a recusal, which we may do. why would you need to ask for a recusal? and what does his ethnicity have to do with it? >> because i think he's been very, very unfair with us. i think the judge has been extremely unfair. this is a case that many, many, many people said should have been thrown out on summary judgment. we have 98% approval -- >> and you think it's because he's hispanic? >> this is a case that should have been -- well, because of the wall and because of everything that's going on with
mexico and all of that, i think it's frankly -- look, this is a judge who i believe has treated me very, very unfairly. this is a case that should have been thrown out a long time ago in the opinion of many great lawyers. >> and as you know right now on twitter there is a trending re-tweet of yours. you retweeted somebody from elduce it was a mussolini quote, it is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep. that's a famous muse lynn i quote. do you like the quote? did you know it's mussolini. >> it's okay. it's a very good quote. it's a very interesting quote. and i saw it -- i know who said it. but what difference does it make whether it's mussolini or somebody else? a very interesting quote. >> 14 million people. >> do you want to be
associated -- >> it's a very interesting quote. >> do you want to be associated with a fascist? >> no, i want to be associated with interesting quotes. and people -- you know, i have almost 14 million people between instagram and facebook and twitter and all of that, and we do interesting things. and i sent it out. and certainly, hey, it got your attention, didn't it? >> well, it is trending on twitter right now. mr. trump, i have to leave it there. stay safe on the trail. we'll see you super tuesday. could be a big night for you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. joining me now is senator ted cruz of texas. let's set the expectation straight up. if you don't win texas, can you stay in this race? >> i think we're going to do very well in texas. and i think super tuesday could well be the most important day of the entire primary season. we are campaigning all across super tuesday. and at this point the facts are
clear that there is only one candidate who has beaten and who can beat donald trump. and in super tuesday we are neck and neck with donald. across super tuesday we're doing very well in texas and fighting hard to beat him across the country. and i will say to the 65% of republicans who recognize donald trump as not the best candidate to go head-to-head with hillary clinton, the only way to beat him is for us to come together and unite. and our campaign is the only one that can beat donald. so i ask for your support on super tuesday. >> let me ask you this, is the fairest way to decide who the chief challenger is to trump is the person who's in second place in delegates come wednesday morning between yourself and marco rubio? >> listen, there's no doubt we're likely to come out of super tuesday with a big difference in delegates. i think it is likely that you'll see donald trump has a whole bunch of delegates. i think it's likely that we'll have a whole bunch of delegates. >> do you think you'll be second? >> i think there's going to be a big, big dropoff between donald and me and the rest of the field. right now donald and i are one and two in delegates and right now one and two in the popular vote.
you know historically no one has ever won the nomination in modern times without winning one of the first three states, iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. donald and i are the only two who have done that. >> you've released summary pages of your tax returns. so did marco rubio. you said the only reason you released summary pages is because marco rubio released summary pages. why should donald trump -- how are you forcing donald trump to release his tax return if you're only releasing the first two pages? >> well, listen, i've released nine years of tax returns. and by the way the first five years have everything. the last four have summary pages. i've got nine years of tax returns. donald trump has not released so much as a paper clip. and donald needs to release his taxes. you know, mitt romney this week observed that the reason donald trump -- >> will you be happy if he just does summary pages? >> look, it would be a very positive step in the right direction. i would be thrilled if he releases the whole thing, i'm happy to release everything i've released for five years i've released everything. we just matched what the opponents did for the last four
years. but the critical point, chuck, as mitt romney observed the fact that donald seems terrified to release his taxes suggests there's a bombshell there. and it's natural to wonder, well, what is it that he's hiding in his taxes? maybe it's that donald trump doesn't earn nearly as much as he has so loudly told everyone. maybe he's not as rich as he says he is. who knows. maybe it's the case that mitt romney is richer than donald trump. he could answer that by releasing his taxes. on the other hand maybe it's the case that he has given large sums of money to left wing groups like planned parenthood. you know, he praises planned parenthood in the debates over and over again. maybe he's been a big financial supporter of that. all of those questions donald can put to rest. or, chuck, maybe it is that it is the case there have been multiple media reports about donald's business dealings with the mob, with the mafia. maybe taxes show those business dealings are more extensive than reported regardless of what the bombshell is --
>> senator cruz, let me stop you there. that's openly speculative. do you have any facts to support that donald trump has mob ties? >> oh, sure. abc, cnn, multiple news reports have reported about his business dealings with for example s & a construction owned by fat tony solerno who is a mobster in jail. it is owned by two of the major new york crime families. and that has been reported in multiple media outlets. you know, you're going to have donald on the show later today, you ought to ask him, donald, have you written a check to planned parenthood? if so, how much and when? i mean, that's a question that donald ought to answer. we don't know what it is that he's hiding in those tax returns, but i can promise you this, if he's the nominee come september, october, every day on the news will be about those tax returns about whatever the bombshell is. and republican primary voters deserve to know before the nomination, not after. because you better believe
hillary clinton and the media are going to go to town on it. and the primary voters should be able to vet all of us. >> let me ask you something rush limbaugh said earlier this week about your candidacy. he said ted cruz has fought these guys every day that he's been in washington, and for a lot of reasons that doesn't register. basically he's -- sounds like he was almost lamenting it, but the fact is donald trump stole your outsider brand. super tuesday was supposed to be the day you were going to be solidifying your status as the front-runner. and it's not turning out that way. how did trump steal your outsider brand? >> well, listen, i think super tuesday will continue to narrow the field. the first four states narrowed the field down from 17 candidates to a much smaller field. i think super tuesday we will effectively have two candidates coming out of it that have a viable path that have enough delegates to have a shot at winning. and head-to-head with donald trump i beat donald by 16 points, 56 to 40. you know, we really saw this in the debate last week, we saw a contrast between washington dealmakers.
and this is how we've gotten in the mess we're in now is republicans who've cut deals with democrats, grow the debt, grow government and give away our constitutional rights, a contrast between dealmakers and a principled constitutional conservative. you know, chuck, it was striking when donald trump said, ted, you got to be willing to compromise on the supreme court. you got to be willing to compromise on religious liberty. let me tell you i will not compromise away your religious liberty rights. i will not compromise away your second amendment. donald trump is telling us if he's president he'll cut a deal with harry reid and chuck schumer and give away your constitutional rights. >> let me end where we began, if you are third in delegates wednesday morning, do you reassess your candidacy? >> well, listen, i don't intend to be third in delegates. i don't believe i am. i think that may be a question you'll have to pose to other candidates, but i will say what we saw last week was in the seminal battle on amnesty when i
was leading the fight against the rubio/schumer gang of eight amnesty bill and we defeated the gang of eight amnesty bill, donald trump was funding the gang of eight. he had given over $50,000 to five of the eight members of the gang of eight. you cannot lead on illegal immigration if you spent four decades supporting open-border democrats and if you've been hiring illegal immigrants as donald trump has been doing. >> all right. senator ted cruz, i got to leave it there. republican from texas. have a safe time on the trail and we'll be watching on super tuesday, sir. >> excellent. all right. when we come back, the republican establishment is now in a full-on panic over the possibility of donald trump securing this nomination. could we be looking at the beginning of a crackup inside the gop as we know it? we were born 100 years ago into a new american century. born with a hunger to fly
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all right. republicans in a full-on panic. i caught up with john kasich yesterday. there was this big "new york times" story, mitt romney apparently trying to convince kasich to get out. here's how governor kasich responded to that news. >> nobody's asked me to drop out. it wouldn't matter to me anyway. i don't really want to get into private conversations with people, but that never happened in terms of mitt trying to tell me what i need to do with my career. that's not what it was about. and i've had a number of conversations with him and a lot of e-mail exchanges. you just have to leave it there. but at the end of the day each of these candidates should be able to win their own home state. i'm going to win ohio, but if i don't win ohio, you know, ball game over. >> charlie, this is the issue. there isn't anybody to rally around kasich's not ready to drop out, cruz won't drop out for rubio, rubio won't drop out for cruz and donald trump's going to walk away with this thing. >> chuck, at this point it's a momentum -- i mean, none of that matters. expectations don't matter. it's delegates.
is after tuesday is donald trump on a trajectory to get 1237 delegates, yes or no? and for all these other guys, you know, it's can they keep him under that trajectory is what's important. and i've been very skeptical about trump winning the nomination from the very beginning. >> still skeptical? >> yeah, my knees are weakening a little. >> all right. >> when two out of three republican voters in national polls and averaging in the four events so far are against him, are they going to coalesce behind him? they all know him, they're all familiar with him, but only one-third with him. >> his percentages in the first four states are identical to mitt romney, either way. party united around mitt romney. >> i also think part of the problem is republicans haven't really been able to say in a unified way why exactly he can't be their standard bear. they can't say it's because he says bigoted things because he
says explicitly racist, they can't say not conservative around taxes, his tax cuts are three times as big as bush's. there's not a unified story about why he's not a republican. >> erick, you believe it's on conservative values? >> yes. >> that's the way to unify the party on this. and you've been critical of both cruz and rubio for not being able to coalesce, you feel like they are being childish. >> they are. it was very interesting thursday they finally together tag teamed donald trump, in fact name checking each other at the end of their time saying hey, hey, i get 30 seconds to respond in going after trump. at some point when wednesday comes when the sun rises on wednesday, whoever has the most delegates in second place has a plausible case for a reagan-bush coalition. >> you think he needs to get out? he needs to get out and be the v.p. >> that's what you would tell them to do? >> yes. >> the likelihood of those two working together. >> they're going to have to. reagan and bush had to work together. >> that said, what marco rubio has to prove is he is a credible alternative for the
establishment republicans. and what we saw in that debate thursday night, the playground rhetoric was so deeply offensive to so many people on all sides that you've got people, you know, trump and rubio going after each other for their hair, their ears, how have we reached this point? >> instead of you quoting them, i want to play them going back and forth. >> better. >> it was bizarre and stunning. let me play it. well, we're going to -- all right. we're going to deal with that later in the show. but the other part of what we saw in the playground rhetoric though was chris christie's endorsement. how important was it? >> i think it's -- it was obviously a big deal for trump to have somebody, any kind of establishment figure say he's okay. and i was as flabbergasted as anybody. i did not expect it. >> let me tell you other people flabbergasted. amazingly it's chris christie taking heat. conservative writer writes this,
well, now we know the stuff of what chris christie is made, opportunism. what a cynical hack, mr. chris christie turned out to be, i hope he sleeps well tonight selling out what's left of him. here's the unbelievable quote of the morning. meg whitman, national finance co-chair puts out this statement she sent to nbc news this morning. quote, chris christie's endorsement of donald trump is an astonishing display of political opportunism. donald trump is unfit to be president. he is a dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears. the governor is mistaken if he believes he can now count on my support and i call on christie's donors and supporters to call -- reject thim the governor. >> wow, i agree with -- >> no, that's meg whitman. she is the national finance -- >> good for her. yes. i agree with her statement. and i've gotten that from a lot of people. and i don't know that it actually helps donald trump headed into the south to have a governor who supported gun
control -- >> what's remarkable about it, it isn't as though they were adversaries in the past. two weeks ago chris christie's on video as you played for donald trump. so the hypocrisy and the opportunism of this is so transparent that it helped in one big way. it cut marco rubio's momentum on a day he otherwise would have been the national story. all right. we're going to take a quick pause here. we have a lot more to talk about on this i promise. but in a moment i'm going to catch up with senator bernie sanders. does he have a path left to the nomination after getting shellacked in south carolina?
therwe cannot defeatsay a corrupt political system and fix a rigged economy. but i believe we need to lift our vision above the obstacles in place and look to the american horizon. to a nation where every child can not only dream of going to college, but attend one. where quality healthcare will be
a birthright of every citizen.
where a good job is not a wish, but a reality. where women receive equal pay and a living wage is paid to all. an america where after a lifetime of labor, there is time for rest and grandchildren. a nation that defends our people and our values, but no longer carries so much of that burden alone. i know we can create that america if we listen to our conscience and our hearts and not to the pundits and the naysayers. i'm bernie sanders. i approve this
message, and i ask for your vote.
welcome back. it was a tough night saturday for my next guest, bernie sanders. with hillary clinton enjoying a big victory in the south carolina primary, that makes super tuesday even more crucial if he's going to keep his hopes alive for securing the democratic nomination. senator sanders, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> my pleasure. >> a month ago, senator, a month ago you said i think we're picking up more and more african-american support, frankly i think we can win there, referring to south carolina. you lost african-american voters
84 to 16, worse than any poll had shown. senator, what happened? >> well, we got decimated, that's what happened. among older african-americans it was pathetic from our perspective. but by the way, what was the glimmer of positive news for us is that we won the 29 years of age or younger vote. and we did well with african-american young people as well as white young people. but no question secretary clinton won that state and she won it big, but i'm in minnesota now. i think we got a real shot at minnesota. i think we got a shot at colorado, oklahoma, massachusetts and vermont. so we're looking to the future, not looking back. we had two rallies yesterday in texas. 10,000 people out in austin, 8,000 people out in dallas. i think the future for us it's going to be a tough fight. i think we can pull it off, chuck. >> look, the game is delegates now. it's not where you win states, it's about accumulating
delegates. >> right, that's right. >> your campaign is targeting states worth 288 delegates on superti super tuesday. secretary clinton is targeting six states worth 531. if you both do well, she's going to have at least a 200-delegate lead on you if you're not careful at that point. this is -- why aren't you trying to win more delegates than her on super tuesday? >> well, we are trying to win every delegate that we can. and not only are we fighting for super tuesday, we're looking ahead to california, the largest state of all. new york state we think we're going to do well in michigan -- look, chuck. let's be clear. we began this campaign nine and a half months ago at 3% in the polls, 70 points behind hillary clinton. in the last two weeks some polls nationally have actually had us in the lead. we have come a long, long way fighting for the message that we're going to end income and wealth inequality and a broken
criminal justice system and a corrupt campaign finance system. we have developed enormous momentum all over this country. it is a tough fight. we knew that from the beginning. but i think we're going to do well on super tuesday. we're going to do well in many states after that. and we look forward to those state by state struggles. >> you know, there's a long story in the "new york times" today detailing secretary clinton's role in pushing the president on libya at the time, helping to step in to overthrow gadhafi. let me ask you this, would libya be in better shape today if gadhafi were still in power? >> let me say this, secretary clinton and i have very strong differences of opinion on foreign policy. i help lead the opposition to this disastrous war in iraq, she supported it. to answer your question, no one can speculate. nobody knows. but i think in terms of regime change, whether it is gadhafi, whether it is assad in syria these are terrible dictators,
but you've got to be thinking about what happens the day after the kind of political vacuum that occurs in libya of course as a result of the overthrow of gadhafi, isis now has a strong foothold. i would have done it differently if i were president of the united states. secretary clinton also believes -- no, i would have worked more patiently. i know it's a difficult situation, but you can't just go forward with regime change. you got to be thinking about the day after. and i think the same thing is true in syria. secretary clinton disagrees with president obama and myself regarding a no-fly zone. i fear that can get us entangled more into that war. i certainly hope that the cease-fire that they have now holds negotiated by secretary kerry. but i think her approach to foreign policy and mine are just quite different. >> earlier this week as the back and forth on the crime bill gone you had said you supported the house version because it had an assault weapons ban in it, but that turned out not to be the
case. so why did you put out a statement that was misleading -- >> whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. no. that's not my understanding. >> it was not in the house bill that you voted. it was in a senate bill, but it was not in that house bill. >> to the best of my knowledge -- hold it. to the best of my knowledge there were two important provisions. and that is violence against women act which was very important. i've worked very hard to prevent domestic violence. and on my understanding there is a ban on assault weapons in that bill. look, i spoke on the floor of the house about the harmful impacts of that bill. but weighing the pros and the cons i voted for it. and by the way i also voted against the so-called welfare reform act that secretary clinton then supported which has had a horrible impact on the poorest of the poor people in this country. >> all right. senator sanders, i have to leave it there. i know you have another interview coming up. i appreciate it. stay safe on the trail. we'll be watching on tuesday. >> thank you. >> you got it. we'll be back after the
break with a look at where the republican race might be headed after super tuesday. and then later -- >> donald, donald, i understand rules are very hard for you -- >> if the republican presidential race is becoming a presidential race is becoming a race to the bottom, how will professor richard thaler. you are called the father of behavioral economics. i've been called a lot of things. i have read all of your books. did you learn anything? i learned that humans are complicated. we're emotional. absent-minded. and we make some really bad decisions. my trade-off analytics can help companies make better decisions, but i am still learning what makes people tick. what makes you tick watson? natural language processing, reasoning algorithms, statistical parsing. now you are just showing off.
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data download is brought to you by lyrica. let's dive right into our "meet the press" data download. our own version of march madness, we'll start with donald trump because his path is the most straightforward. on super tuesday 11 republican contests across the country, if polls are right, trump is going to have a sizable delegate lead. in fact, if you look here this 289 number, it's possible we're being conservative in our estimates there. he could have an even bigger delegate lead come march 2nd. then for him it's about march 15. if trump does take the critical winner take all delegate states particularly in ohio and florida, there are a few other states that day as well, but if he wins both of those and the others, he will have more than half the delegates he needs to win the nomination and then ilt becomes almost impossible for anyone to catch trump.
so let's look at marco rubio's path. on super tuesday he's got three or four states he's covering the most. this is what he needs. he needs to ideally win somewhere, but at least be consensus second everywhere. virginia, oklahoma and arkansas are the three states he's spending the most time in. and by the way he would be helped if trump beat ted cruz in texas, which would effectively knock cruz out of the race. that's a strategy there. then, in a one-on-one on march 15th rubio hopes to beat trump in ohio and florida, and then after that look at what the delegate total would be under that scenario. rubio would actually have a slight lead at this point and we'd be looking at sort of a long march to cleveland, because by the way it would be impossible for anybody to get a majority of the delegates by july to pull that out. so let's now move to cruz. cruz, he's got a pretty straightforward path to relevance here. number one he's got to win texas, and he's hoping to win the two states that border texas on super tuesday, oklahoma and arkansas. cruz really wants to be able to
say that he won iowa, texas and something else, what is that something else? and of course he needs to be second. then he also would like to eliminate rubio before florida and then cruz become the alternative and cruz be the guy that everybody rallies around and he somehow beats trump in one of these two major super tuesday states. but again, just like rubio, there is only a path to a contested convention for ted cruz. so that's the bottom line we're looking at here. two paths forward, trump comes away march 15th substantial lead and game, set, match presumptive nominee or the republican party is looking at an open convention come july. talk about cleveland rocking then. when we come back we'll look at where the democratic race is headed.
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welcome back. we spent much of the show talking about how divided the gop has become, but there are also some fractures within the democratic race. and my next guest, tulsi gabbert has been at odds with dnc chair for months over the democratic debate schedule. congresswoman, you're here because you have an announcement to make regarding your position at the dnc. tell us. >> well, first of all, i am resigning from the dnc so that i can support bernie sanders for president. i would like to tell you why. as a veteran and as a soldier i've seen firsthand the true cost of war. i served in a medical unit
during my first deployment where every single day i saw firsthand the very high human cost of that war. i see it in my friends who now a decade after we've come home are still struggling to get out of a black hole. i think it's most important for us as we look at our choices as to who our next commander in chief will be is to recognize the necessity to have a commander in chief who has foresight, exercises good judgment, who looks beyond the consequences, looks at the consequences of the actions they're looking to take before they take those actions so we don't continue to find ourselves in these failures that have resulted in chaos in the middle east and so much loss of life. >> but you know, it was just a month ago -- and this was sort of got us curious, a month ago you said you think the next commander in chief needs to have a, quote, military mindset. you said this during an interview on fox news. does senator sanders have a military mindset? >> from what i've seen, from talking with him and from his record he does. and what that military mindset
means is you go through an analysis process as you're looking at potential courses of action that you're going to take and how and when we use our military power. and just as importantly when we don't use that military power that military mindset says you have foresight. you look at what are the results, what are the consequences of these actions, how will other actors in the area react to those actions, what will we then do. and you look continue down the line so you know exactly what you're potentially getting yourself into before you make that decision that ends up costing us lives and treasure. >> i want to bring in the rest of the panel here. heather, i'll start with you. let's mix it up here, but just when it looks like the democratic party hillary clinton's got to go on the ability to unite the party as she's potentially building a commanding lead, this is a fracture. >> i think that the democratic party has always needed a primary. this is a time when our core
issues around the social contract, around the future of our country, around climate change, around debt free college in the next generation are at the center of the debate. so we have to have a full debate about them. and i frankly think it's time for us to really have a message that actually integrates the party that talks about economic inequality and how racism has driven economic inequality. >> so you think this primary, do you think it's moved hillary clinton? >> absolutely. i think it's sharpened bernie sanders and most importantly it's educated millions of americans about the plu toinequ and racism in this country. >> i think having been out there it is a very healthy debate and more civilized debate, i should say. but being in south carolina as much as i was, it's striking and the results in the election last night prove and it could foreshadow what happens on tuesday, that bernie sanders has yet to understand the language and the way to describe issues that really appeal to the african-american voters, at
least in the south. and certainly the older african-american voters. he frames income inequality in terms of citizens united and campaign finance reform and super pacs and wall street and what the older african-american women are eager to hear is more kitchen table issues. and it really strikes me going all the way back to january 17th when we had our debate in south carolina, that's when her closing argument was flint, michigan. her entire closing statement was flint, michigan. and that was her first foray into appealing to these voters. and she seems to be connecting in a way and he is not. >> congressman, respond to this that bernie sanders hasn't connected. >> i think when you see the ground swell of support that he's gotten not only in one or two states but in states across the country, i think this is where there is a hunger for a leader, a commander in chief who is honest, who has integrity, who exercises good judgment. the communication of the contrast between hillary clinton and bernie sanders is something
that has begun and i think needs to continue to grow to make sure that as we continue through the next super tuesday states that are voting and beyond that voters are equipped with the right information especially as it pertains to war and peace and how these decisions impact these communities of color, how they impact communities that are coming from a different place. >> i think whenever you see problems in one party, if you look, you'll see them over in the other side. in the democratic side, the divisions that you see with the republicans are there as well. if you think about it hillary clinton was at the far left of her husband's administration and now she finds herself scrambling like mad to the party moved to her left. there are divisions in both sides. so if you think about sort of the future of the democratic party, you get past hillary clinton or maybe joe biden and you got to go way, way, way left before you find anybody that's
on the national stage. >> i also wouldn't characterize it as left and right the way we've been talking about for a long time. >> exactly. >> particularly when we're talking about economic progressivism, this is something that's really more about insider and outsider, about top and bottom on the economic spectrum. >> that's been the split there. >> and her vulnerability is she has yet to prove -- >> if hillary clinton is on a march to the nomination, does that help your efforts to unify behind cruz and rubio? >> i think it would. in a normal year it would. i don't know that it will this year because there is so much anger. talking about outsiders and insiders, there is so much anger now people are making decisions emotionally, they're not looking. i for one am very happy to be talking about the democratic primary. >> fair enough. but a pause there. congresswoman, nice to see you. thanks for coming by making that news here. we'll be back with the end game segment and question whether the republican party can survive republican party can survive after this - if everyone carpooled just one day a week, we could reduce traffic by 20%.
end game time. and to say the republican race is getting ugly would be quite the understatement, andrea, as we talked about i promised a compilation of this earlier in the show. >> yes. >> here it is. >> here's a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, i'd like to punch him in the face. i'll tell ya. >> donald, donald, i understand rules are very hard for you. >> i don't know why because the podium goes up to here, but he wanted a full length mirror. maybe to make sure his pants weren't wet, i don't know. >> thank god he has really large ears, the biggest ears i've ever seen. >> he's flying around on hair
force one and tweeting. >> i go back and i see him with makeup and it's like he's putting it on with a trowel. >> and a guy with the worst spray tan in america is attacking me for putting on makeup. donald trump likes to sue people. he should sue whoever did that to his face. >> it's rubio. >> all right. it has become -- there are nights i felt like the debate, erick, was "wwe raw." i'm like am i on usa? am i on the right channel? this is not good for the party. >> no, it's not. donald trump has brought the party down to a new low. he's feeding off people's anger on both parties. there are legitimate grievances but it's become unhealthy. i think rubio and cruz had to do what they did to prove they could dish it back out to donald trump. voters supporting donald trump they're looking for the alpha dog. you have to show you can be the alpha as well.
unfortunately it turns american politics into more of a farce than it already is. >> and i think it really is a warning to hillary clinton if she were to become the nominee because i'm not sure she knows that any democrat and especially democratic woman would know how to counteract the donald trump phenomenon. how do you debate that? he'll go after benghazi, on e-mails where she has vulnerabilities, you could have another e-mail dump on monday night, tomorrow night, before the super tuesday. 3,000 pages. you know, all of us going to be poring through it. >> are democrats going to make the same mistake republicans did, which is ignore him for three months and then hope by the fall when the debates happen they beat him? >> no, i think you've already seen that in both of their speeches actually. they've been going after donald trump. and it's really important because right now, you know, half of americans couldn't pay a $400 bill without going into debt or selling something. and when you see billionaires and well-connected politicians going after each other and being sort of obsessed with each other when you're struggling, that's really, really bad for our
democracy and alienates people. >> so, charlie, you still believe trump can be stopped, but to stop him it's got to be an insiders game. don't you play to trump outsider strength? >> i think these other candidates are frustrated that trump's played a different set of rules. and that he's been held to a lower standard. if they have a plan, they have to explain it. he could skate away by saying it will be the biggest or we'll have many state plans. i mean, i think it's just been building and building and building and finally they're just exploding. plus they have to keep -- >> do you think though, you know it's funny with rubio doing what he did. again, sort of the rick flare mindset. if you want to beat the man you got to be the man. but he's already got the, is he presidential. >> i think that does impact rubio to a degree. but to charlie's point it's not just that trump plays by different rules, it's that republicans haven't used the existing rules against a very
few ad dollars spent against donald trump. >> thank you, i don't get it. >> attack ads work and they're only just now starting. it's not that trump gets by with everything, it's that they've let him get by. >> one of the things about rubio which you just alluded to is he already had a deficit of stature of being presidential, commander in chief. so to get into the playground or the sand box with donald trump, yes, he needed to go after him, but go after him on substance. >> but the substance hasn't worked. >> i think you have to go after personality. >> do you think it lowers him -- >> well, i agree. but substance hadn't worked. let me ask you this, you alluded to it during the break. the ultimate like suicide mission to stop donald trump is to run a third party republican. you mentioned you half joked rick perry for president. do you think there will be a third party -- >> absolutely. >> a constitution party candidate say. >> absolutely. there are too many conservatives who would sit it out if it was donald trump. i think ultimately donald trump supporters need to understand hillary clinton will be elected
if they choose to go down this path. and republicans have an obligation to make it clear in the primary that it will be hillary clinton if they don't change. >> and not just among the hard core conservatives, but for the establishment they're deathly afraid that establishment republican voters would just stay home if donald trump -- >> good-bye senate, maybe even good-bye house. >> so you gave someone just for normal republicans, conventional republicans to just show up and vote for even if they have no chance of winning a general election they'll be showing up to vote for the senate for governor for house for all these down ballot offices. >> wow. >> i think donald trump has a lot of crossover appeal in a general election with a lot of democrats, rust belt state. >> it's going to be interesting. trump could overperform in the rust belt, overperform in the sun vote. that would be an electoral vote nightmare. we're out of time. we need to go 90 minutes. alert the affiliates, isn't that what ted koppel used to say. join us for complete primetime
coverage of the super tuesday results on your nbc news affiliate. as for us, we'll be back next it's monday, february 29, and coming up on "early today "snoor "leo wins, the spotlight shines and chris rocks on. >> i'm here at the academy awards, otherwise known as the white people choice awards. >> candidates fight for votes ahead of tomorrow's super tuesday with 12 states voting. plus a major assist from an anonymous shopping cart guy. we'll have that story and much more as we kick off a busy week ahead. "early today" starts right now. good morning. i'm danielle serino. the award goes to -- last night the stars gathered in hollywood for the 88th